General Electric profits fall, backlog hits record

US conglomerate General Electric reported Friday a sharp profit fall in the second quarter but kept its full-year outlook as a backlog of orders reached a record high.

GE posted $3.1 billion net earnings for the second quarter, down 18 percent from the same period a year ago but beating Wall Street expectations.

Earnings per share of 38 cents were one cent higher than the average market estimate.

Revenues, up 2 percent at $36.5 billion, were hit by unfavorable foreign-exchange rates and further shrinkage of the company's GE Capital business, the unit that battered earnings during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the company said.

Revenues slightly missed expectations of $36.8 billion.

The multinational, seen as a bellwether of the world economy with businesses including aircraft engines, wind turbines, energy, home appliances and finance, said its industrial segment revenues jumped 9 percent to $25 billion.

"Today's results demonstrate that we are executing on our growth strategy in the midst of a still volatile global economy," GE chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt said in a statement.

"Our industrial segments delivered another quarter of double-digit organic revenue growth. Our strategy to invest in growth markets is paying off, as we achieved orders expansion in growth markets of 14 percent and revenue growth of 17 percent," he said.

In growth markets, revenues jumped 17 percent, driven by double-digit growth in Australia, Canada, China, Latin America, the Middle East/North Africa, Southeast Asia and Russia.

GE said it ended the quarter with a record backlog of $204 billion.

The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company's cash pile was $74 billion.

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